When wet weather occurs, there is the possibility of carts becoming unavailable. This decision is evaluated first thing in the morning upon arrival by me or can be a decision during the day if a significant rainfall event occurs.
When the ground is too saturated for carts, a variety of issues can become problematic for turf health. Turf thinning due to soft conditions and tearing of the plant is a problem as is tires leaving depressed areas on the course. The rate of compaction also increases significantly with cart traffic in wet areas, leading to poor turf health and stressful conditions down the road.
There are a few different situations that can lead to saturated ground conditions. A significant contributor is the moisture conditions before the rain event occurs; this is especially the case in the spring and fall when ground conditions are usually moist before the rain arrives. The rate of rainfall is also a factor. When a downpour moves through quickly the water cannot infiltrate quickly enough and runs along the surface, leading to significant water volumes in low lying areas.
Regardless of when and how the rain event occurred, the goal is to always allow carts through the use of arrows, stakes and GPS restrictions. If it is not possible to manage traffic through the golf course, and maintain turf health and course playability, the determination is made that carts are not available.
With the golfing season now into August, the stress of summer can be seen on some of the more traffic heavy tee decks. To aid in the growth and recovery of these areas, a few tee markers will move from their normal tee decks over the next few weeks. This is done to avoid foot traffic on smaller, more used tee decks.
In conjunction with marker movement, fertility is being increased, additional seed applied, and the tee decks will be aerified with small tines to allow for improved root growth.
18 Green Fan
Several years ago, a fan for turf was installed behind the 18th green. The improvement in turf quality and playing conditions have been well noted in the greens department over the last few years.
With the location of the 18th green and its proximity to the bank on the left of the green, it is quite often that there is little to no air movement. Having the movement of air, even a little movement at the front of the green, helps immensely with turf growing and survival during the hot and humid summer months. The air movement enables the plant to continue growth and respiration, vital factors to turf sustainability that were not possible previously.
This green is now managed and treated identical to the other greens on the course, something that was difficult to do before the fan was installed through stressful periods.
With the construction of the current practice facility, a big component of the design was not to require too much labour input for maintenance. This is of the most significance so we are able to keep the area available for use as much as possible through the season.
During the grass hitting season, divots are filled in the evening before dusk every night from that day’s play, this enables the germination process to start as soon as possible. Twice a week the decks are also cut in the evening to ensure proper height is maintained as well as density.
The landing targets are cut with the fairway first thing in the morning on Friday, before the range opens for play, at dawn to maintain proper conditions.
On Tuesday the range is closed in its entirety for four and a half hours every week. This closure allows the time to cut all grass: tees, landing targets, rough and fairway. It also gives proper time to give attention to the bunkers, top up any missed divots, trim around all objects, repair or adjust irrigation coverage and apply any fertilizer or pest control products as needed.